Photo credit: Tomás Del Coro

Representative Steve King has introduced bills HR 4879/HR 3599 – the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act,” which would be better known as the States' Rights Elimination Acts. These bills could undermine the authority of states to pass laws that protect family farmers, agricultural communities, animals, and food safety.

ABOUT THE ISSUE

“[King's legislation] would erode state sovereignty by pre-empting state laws protecting our nation's food production and manufacturing....The 10th Amendment is the cornerstone of constitutional federalism and reserves broad powers to the states and the people. States have used this authority to enact laws that protect their citizens from invasive pests and livestock diseases, maintain quality standards for all agricultural products and ensure food safety and unadulterated seed products.”
- The National Conference of State Legislatures

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WHAT HR4879 WOULD DO  

“What's in the box? What's in the box!?”

Rep. King's legislation is the same failed proposal he's put forth for years. It aims to undo most existing state and local laws regarding agricultural products, including how animals are raised. It takes a lowest-common-denominator approach—if any one state tolerates the way a particular agricultural product is manufactured or produced, no matter how hazardous or unacceptable, every other state could have to do so as well.

This threatens duly-enacted laws by state legislatures and citizen ballot measures on a wide range of concerns.

SAVE STATES' RIGHTS

SAVE STATES' RIGHTS

A diverse and broad coalition of more than 70 groups, including FreedomWorks and the Fraternal Order of Police oppose these dangerous bills, many of whom have signed a joint letter to Congress in opposition to this legislation or have sent their own letters.

WHO OPPOSES THE KING BILLS?

“[King’s bill] would not only endanger animals but would also preempt state laws and regulations.”

- Fraternal Order of Police

Our CoalitionOur Letter
WHAT RIGHTS ARE AT RISK?

HR 4879 could subvert hundreds of state and local measures addressing such diverse topics as:

  • food safety
  • child labor
  • standards for those handling dangerous farm equipment
  • animal welfare including treatment at puppy mills and the sale of horse meat, dog and cat meat, eggs from battery-caged hens, and shark finning
  • importation of firewood free from invasive pests
  • seed standards
  • milk fat and raw milk
  • diseased livestock
  • fire-safe cigarettes
  • pesticide exposure
  • lagoon siting and manure application on fields
  • licensing requirements to work as a farm contractor
  • labeling to identify flagship state products including wild-caught salmon, catfish, Vidalia onions, citrus, wine and maple syrup

While King has not yet succeeded in enacting his bill, he did get it added as a House committee amendment to the last Farm Bill, generating tremendous opposition across the spectrum. Thankfully, this catastrophic provision was left out of the final version of the last Farm Bill, but now King aims to insert it into the new Farm Bill.

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